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New Land Rover Defender's shape revealed in latest teaser

Few, if any, automotive icons have as wide and as immediate a recognition factor as the Land Rover Defender.

Spanning the globe and over three decades of production, the boxy go-anywhere SUV is finally due for a redesign this year, and now we have our best look yet at what's coming down the line.

New teaser shots were released on Tuesday to coincide with World Land Rover Day, which falls every year on April 30, the day back in 1948 that the original Land Rover series, the predecessor to the Defender, made its debut at an auto show in Amsterdam.

Teaser for new Land Rover Defender debuting in 2019

Crucially, one of the shots allows us to look through the thick camouflage gear worn by prototypes and see the true shape of the new Defender. Naturally the design is boxy, though there are smooth edges to soften the look and add a touch of modernity. Mercedes-Benz took a similar path with the redesign of its G-Class introduced last year.

The reveal of the new Defender will take place in 2019, most likely in September, with sales to follow in 2020—including in the United States. And by the time of the reveal, prototypes will have covered close to a million miles in some of the most extreme environments on earth, including the vehicle torture rack that is the Nürburgring. Both 3- and 5-door body styles are being developed, and more could be added later, such as convertible and pickup options.

Land Rover remains tight on details but the new Defender is expected to be the first model to ride on a newly developed platform known as the Modular Longitudinal Architecture (MLA), which will be shared with next-generation versions of the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery. The move will likely mean fully independent suspension front and rear, though a low-range transfer case and multiple differential locks should ensure strong off-road performance.

Teaser for new Land Rover Defender debuting in 2019

We also know the MLA platform will allow an electric powertrain to be fitted to the new Defender. A gas engine as well as a plug-in hybrid setup should also feature.

As for pricing, Land Rover is likely to position the new Defender somewhere between the $53,085 Discovery and $67,745 Range Rover Sport. The good news is that the positioning will likely be closer to the Discovery, as Land Rover is well aware that many Defender faithful use the vehicles as a workhorse.

To keep costs low, there are rumors Land Rover will handle production at its new plant in Slovakia, where the Discovery is built. That way Land Rover can free up capacity at its main plant in the United Kingdom for pricier Range Rover models, though the automaker may still choose to keep production of its most iconic model on British soil.